Drug addiction takes time. You don’t become addicted to cigarettes the first time you smoke one, and you don’t become addicted to alcohol the first time you have a drink. You build up the tolerance over time and then your body develops a dependency on the chemical. The same thing happens for illegal drugs, and one reason that addictions progress is that people often seek harder drugs to get the same sort of high.
With that in mind, you may be wondering if this could even be a problem for young people. Say you have a teen who is facing drug charges. Is it possible that they could actually be addicted? Or are they so young that it would be unreasonable for them to have built up that addiction already?
It is possible, and it’s a significant health problem for teens
Drug addiction experts are quick to point out that it is definitely possible for teens to be addicted to drugs. There are a lot of factors in play, such as how often they use, how much they use and how young they were when they started. Do not assume that your teen cannot be addicted just because of their age. In some senses, drug abuse at this age is even more problematic because of how it can develop as they grow up. Even a lower amount of use while someone is a teen can increase the odds that they will become addicted when they are an adult.
As such, if your teen is facing criminal charges, it may be worth considering whether a drug treatment program would be more appropriate for them. If they are struggling with addiction, that treatment could help them far more than paying fines or spending time behind bars. You must know what options you have.